Heating to frozen foods
Those good old "TV dinners" have come a long way
By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
Weight loss clinic WebMD – Column of experts
Reviewed by Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
Every Saturday night when I was growing up, while my parents put on their dance clothes, the kids ate our favorite "TV dinners".
We delight in the weekly ritual of these compartmentalized meals. We dreamed of being on a plane, traveling to an exotic place, while we ate fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn and, finally, those delicious apples.
Our choices at that time were quite scarce: the chicken, the meatloaf, the turkey and some others.
Nowadays, frozen food aisles are stored from floor to ceiling with a large selection of "regular light and frozen meals." Along with traditional selections, you can choose from a variety of ethnic foods, healthy cuisine and large meals. size.
The good news for dieters is that there are many healthy foods that are very tasty.
Perfect Portion control
The best part of a frozen dinner is the convenience: put it in a microwave oven or in an oven and in a short time, your food will be ready.
But frozen dinners are also an excellent way to ensure proper portion control. You can learn a lot by looking at the package information about serving size and comparing it to foods you make at home or eat at restaurants. (The airline meals are another good source of information on portion control.)
Read the label
If your meal plan requires a "fast food, a light frozen dinner with a light sauce", we estimate that the dinner will contain approximately equal to or less than:
300 calories. 8 grams of fat.
If the recipe is for a "fast food, a regular dinner frozen with cream sauce" we estimate that it will contain approximately equal to or less than:
400 calories. 25 grams of fat.
Look for foods that contain many vegetables and whole grains, which are found in many of the "healthy" brands of frozen dinners. Also, try to choose frozen foods that contain less than 1,000 milligrams of sodium.
The amount of food found in most frozen dinners may not be enough to keep you satisfied, so your plan may also recommend a side dish.
You can supplement your frozen meal with a green or spinach salad with a light dressing, a cup of vegetable soup and other fruits and / or vegetables. Add a portion of whole wheat bread and a glass of skim milk, and you will have a perfectly nutritious and delicious dinner.
Do it yourself
Spend a day preparing a pot of stew or a favorite family recipe that has been clarified by Elaine Magee, our "Medical Recipe", and freeze it into individual servings. This is an excellent and economical approach for people living alone.
Simply place a portion in the microwave, add the healthy side dishes and you will have a quick and easy meal almost instantly.
Originally published on April 25, 2003.
Medically updated on September 1, 2004.
© 1996-2005 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.
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